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Reading Owls starts LitClub in Hanover

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, May 18, 2017

CLIFTON, Hanover

Reading Owls International has partnered with the New York-based, non-profit organisation LitWorld to pilot its first LitClub in Clifton, Hanover in an effort to enable children to access to books.

The club will have a retired school principal as its coordinator and two mentors, one of whom is a principal. All are from the Clifton/Askenish area of Hanover.

Chairperson of Reading Owls International, Elaine E Dickson plans to have LitClubs across the island.

“We are hoping to start many of these LitClubs in rural areas across Jamaica that do not have access to books. Our goal is to have students ages 10-15 years in each LitClub and more kids in some places depending on demand,” said Dickson.

“Kids in the programme will have access to 300-500 books, which will be provided based on reading level and not just age, which we plan to supplement with additional books each year, and we are really hoping these clubs can continue beyond the two-year curriculum-driven programme. This will go a big way in mitigating the summer slide, a time when kids are out of school and their literacy skills tend to dip,” she explained.

She told the Jamaica Observer West that one of the most exciting parts of the programme is the introduction of a mobile lending library via a mobile cart.

“Children participating in the programme will be able to borrow carefully curated and culturally relevant books, which we will provide and continue to supplement for the programme going forward. We want to ensure they have access to books year-round,” she emphasised.

LitWorld is a global literacy non-profit organisation which serves children across the US and in more than 60 countries. The club serves approximately 15 girls or boys from area schools, ages 10-15 once per week for two hours after school for “joyful learning, creative play, and social interaction, while increasing their literacy levels”.

Reading Owls International was started December 2013 by Dickson of St Mary and her husband Easton, who is from Hanover, after returning home from the United States of America a few years ago.